Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Another Nigella masterpiece that makes me look like a domestic goddess. Chocolaty, sweet and delicious, what more could you want from a birthday cake?


200g plain flour

200g caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarb soda

40g cocoa powder ( I use Dutch processed)

175g unsalted butter

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

150ml sour cream


Preheat oven to 180’C, butter and line two 20cm cake tins. Combine flour, baking powder, bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream in a food processor or electric mixer and mix until you have a thick smooth batter. Divide batter between the 2 tins and bake until a skewer inserted comes out clean, this should take between 25 and 35 minutes. Remove the cakes, cool for 10 minutes in their tins, then turn out onto wire racks.


75g unsalted butter

175g chocolate ( I used half milk, half dark)

300g icing sugar

1 tablespoon glucose syrup

125ml sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler, cool a little and add the glucose syrup, followed by the sour cream and vanilla, when this is all combine sift in the icing sugar and whisk together. The icing would be thick, creamy and glossy. Using your serving plate, make a square out of 4 strips of baking paper and place one of the cakes on top. Spoon a third of the icing on top of the cake and spread over the surface of the cake. Sit the other cake on top and press down lightly to sandwich together. Spoon another third of the icing on top of the cake, and swirl. Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing  and leave for a minute until slightly set. Carefully remove paper strips to reveal the clean plate. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.


I made this cake for Daniel’s middle brother Justin. I had promised him a cake and chocolate was the request. I looked through my piles of magazines, nothing struck me as worthy, but flicking through my Nigella book, I found it, the cake that would be perfect! 2 chocolate cake layers sandwiched with incredible chocolate icing then covered with more icing, Amazing! I am not normally a fan of chocolate cake, I love chocolate and anything made with chocolate but I am not a fan of things with a chocolate flavour, there has to be real chocolate. This icing does the trick, it combines a relatively basic chocolate cake with a light creamy real chocolate flavour and makes this an impressive cake.

I made this cake in Sydney and took all the things I needed with me, as Daniel hauled it in to the car he was asking if I needed it all, but if I was to create magic away from my own kitchen then I still needed my own things! The cake worked beautifully, it was easy enough to make, I needed Daniel’s help at one point to help combine the chocolate to the rest of the mix because I was making a mess but otherwise it was trouble free. The combination of chocolate and sour cream is a match made in heaven, I have known for a while it works beautifully with white chocolate but had never considered putting it with milk and dark chocolate but I think it will become one of my new favourite combinations!

There was nothing really tricky about this cake, anyone could make it if they had the patience. It does help to have 2 20cm pans but if you had to you could bake one cake and then the other, I just don’t know what would happen to the batter in that time. Nigella describes this cake as having an almost packet cake appeal, perfect to look at, perfect flavour, the recipe is called sour cream chocolate cake and also old fashioned chocolate cake and claims it is the only chocolate cake her daughter will eat. If it’s good enough for Nigella’s family then it is good enough for mine!

Enjoy this cake, guilt free, cut a slab, pull it apart, eat each layer or all mixed together but enjoy it what ever you do because the next chocolate cake you eat will disappoint after this one!


Love Sonia